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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 173 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

(Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cxg231
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No time for a long-form review, as I have to rush off somewhere. But I had one of these last night, and I had to post a quick note:

This is quite possibly the best American-brewed beer that I have ever had. Some Belgian offerings may be slightly better in some areas, but this beer is truly off the charts. More than worth the price ($5.99 for 22oz).

Truly a masterpiece.

cxg231, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of Chodite
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a beer geek but not very good with reviews, terminology, etc. In fact, I've only typed up a couple of reviews on this site (though I've had 100's of quality beers in my lifetime).

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is one of my all-time faves. In fact, I bought twelve 22 oz. bombers a few months back with the intention of cellaring a few of them... only to disappoint myself by emptying the contents of the last remaining bottle just recently. I couldn't help myself.

Amazing brew with everything I love about beer. It's like a Belgian tripel on MLB steroids. Steroids = a buttload of quality hops.

Luckily, a local bar still has cold bottles available; which I purchase without hesitation and usually share with a friend. And that friend usually has never tried a Stone brew in his/her life before that evening. Lucky for that person, he/she is a Stone fan for life.

Keep up the good work Stone.

Chodite, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of xaulzan
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would introduce this beer to my mother. I wouldn't even be mad if it stood her up. Maybe for a few minutes, but I could never stay mad at this gem. If it came to take my lunch money, I'd give it my debit card. If it came to borrow some eggs, I'd give it a chicken that was organically raised in an open air pen that allows chickens to frolic.

This beer is made from the seed of Zeus and the tenderness of Aphrodite. It has the abdomen of Poseidon and the voice of a golden dipped cherub, and I just found one hiding in the back of a local liquor stores shelf.

A: Poors a golden color with about a finger of creamy head.

S: Although it is a Belgian IPA, not much hop aroma left to it after aging for 2 years. Hints of grapefruit and banana-like sweetness

T: As with the smell, the hop flavor has subsided over the years. I can taste the warmth of alcohol, but not too much, it's perfect. Fruity notes in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied, still a fair amount of carbonation

D: I could drink this until I shit my pants. It's absolutely delightful. Over the years it will taste more and more like a Belgian golden than an IPA as the hop flavor and aroma fades away. It was good the day it was released, and will continue to be as it's characteristics change over the years.

xaulzan, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of mwa423
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I must say I'm going back to the store to buy a case or more of it! It pours a clear golden with about a one inch head that dies down to a nice lacing.

The smell is fantastic with plenty of citrus, hops and other things I can't quite place.

I greatly enjoy the taste, it almost tastes like a hybrid between an Belgian and an IPA. Plenty of hop bite but not at all overwhelming. I couldn't taste anything that would suggest the extremely high ABV.

Palate is fantastic, goes down very smoothly, especially considering the high abv. The finish is very dry and makes your mouth water for the next sip.

Overall, this is exceptionally good beer. The taste profile is exceptionally complex and excellent, the very high ABV will get you in a good mood after one bottle and yet you can't taste it at all.

mwa423, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of slayer3604
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- While pouring, a large head appeared and became a torrent of bubbles falling to the bottom of the glass to create a pale yellow body, then settling down to a one inch head. Serving temperature was 61* in a ruination glass.

S- corriander, lemon cake and a slight wisp of alpha acid.

T- The taste reminds me of the first time i ever popped a belgian candy rock in my mouth...definitely a grip of sweetness on this beer which overwhelms the fact that its 8+ percent alcohol! The sweetness gives way to unlock a fresh citrus/grapefruit dry finish. VERY good. The dryness leads to the alcohol. the warming rush was noted just a fraction of a second after taking a swig to recall "mouthfeel".

M- Loads of character. I might name a hamster VERTICAL EPIC 08 for the amount of character this thing possesses. I cannot wait for it to age (HURRY UP!). If you swish this beer around on a clean pallet you will feel bights of acidity followed by the repair of a warming smooth malt body.

D- If this wasnt such a rare beer i would drink it every day of my life.

slayer3604, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A really nice clear rich golden. Head builds up nice but recedes fairly fast. The smell has some light Belgian yeast character (phenols), not a ton of hoppiness comes out in the aroma, except maybe a bit simcoe-like smell. It really has the nice fruitiness of a belgian stong pale with a nice juicy hop kick at the end. It's not a huge abbrassive hoppiness but a very complimentary sweet cirtrus juicy hop taste. Very nice, the buzz factor is good too cause it's so drinkable yet very high in Vitamin ETOH.

MiScusi, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Billolick
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled several times at BCTC, and then from a small growler and enjoyed 2 days later at home (now)

From the Stone website, "The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe)."

The comment heard most often by samplers at the fest was simply "WOW"

Pours clear, medium honey amber, glistening with golden and light orange shimmers, head is off white, tiny bubble and leaving scattered fine lacing.

Nose picked up plenty of mint, pineapple, melon, berries and assorted fresh fruit nuances.

Absolutely delicious creation in brewing, Belgian yeasty notes, banana, citrus, piney hops, more pineapple, a plethora of fruity notes, dry spiced up/ light peppery finish...WOW...yummy...my favorite style...(hoppy Belgian strong pale ale/tripel/whatever you want to call it)

Stone rocks and this is another fine example of their craft

Billolick, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of ohiobeer29
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

ohiobeer29, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of bambam2517
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

bambam2517, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Although this is a relatively high-alcohol beer at 8.6%, it was incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Upon pouring, the 08.08.08 gives off a fruity nose with hints of banana. Upon first sip, the brew reveals an inspired mix of flavors.

"It has the complexity and spiciness of the Belgian yeast," Talking Bob said after taking a deep draft. "But with all the hops of a West Coast IPA."

monkeylovebeer, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of rivertrance420
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious. Hints of pine, clove,honey,pear,and other spices, as well as many citrus notes. Very hoppy for the style, and very spicy. One of the best beers I have tried by Stone yet. I definitely will be purchasing more before December 12th, 2012.

rivertrance420, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Walkerjgt
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Walkerjgt, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of BBM
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a golden yellow with a frothy white head. Minimal lacing around the glass. The aroma is a harmonious blend of pine, citrus, and sweet banana. A hint of the wonders to come.

I'm in love with this beer. The pine hops are out in full force, but the beauty is the way they dance with the cloves and banana of the Belgian brew. As it warms, flavors become more complex, and never too sweet or too alcoholic. Vanilla, pine, citrus, and a subtle earthiness really create a unique and delicious experience.

I bought two, one I've had and another I'm going to cellar until 12-12-12... or for as long as I can hold out.

BBM, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of elNopalero
4.61/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/12.

This pours a bright golden with a tightly lace foam.

There’s a light, estery aroma—a sweetly honeyed-clove character— with no discernible hop presence. The flavor is lightly sweet and … lychee! Lychee is what I’m smelling and what I’m tasting. It’s incredible, seriously. The beer has this tropical fruit characteristic which is undoubtedly lychee. And for a beer that’s four years old it’s held up exceptionally well. Delicious.

elNopalero, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Bomber split with friend into a pint glass. Fluffy head soapy white. Wonderful cathedral like lacing.

S. Bready and fruity. Hints of banana.

T. Hints of hops. Peppery. Light fruits appear and then recede into some malty notes. This is a very complex beer.

M. Light and crisp. Finishes on the dry side.

D. Highly quaffable, but this is meant for sipping. If it were more readily available, this would be a mainstay.

Final word: This is an amazing beer. Stone is a world class brewery. I need to secure some more to set aside for a while.

Stinkypuss, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of 2LBrew
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had heard about this beer being released by another BA and went searching for it on Tuesday to no avail. I bought this from my local Bev Mo and brought home with the bottle still being a tad bit chilled. Upon popping the top, it had a fruity smell to it. At first it reminded me of a cross between a hefeweizen and a belgium beer.
The beer was a golden clear color. It had fruity smells as well as a little hop taste. At close to 9% it was a drinkable beer but defintely will take its toll after drinking itself multiple times or itself with other beers. I was surprised to see them make it a Belgian style beer after lasts years. However I am thinking about buying a few more of these to share with friends. Cheers!

2LBrew, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of MacDomer
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at From the Vine in Columbus in December, 2008. Thanks for holding this one for me, Jaimie!

Had this one with some friends over the weekend as we were enjoying a nice warm spring day in Chicago. Looks nice, bright gold with light orange highlights. Decent head and lace. The nose has mild Belgian character and nice American hoppy notes - citrus and pine. There's a good malt base with some sweetness coming through. Mid palate comes phenols and fruity Belgian esters (apple, pear, peach), complimented by a nice biscuity backdrop. Very crisp, very nice, very tasty. Perfect for a bright, warm spring day!

MacDomer, May 08, 2009
Photo of crazeguy
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Its a mango colored yellow/orange. Nice white head with good retention.

Smell is fruity, delicious, and could be mistaken for candy. I have never smelled a beer like this.

Taste, sweet and slight fruit. Its great but has a lackluster finish. Only minimally takes away from the overall experience.

Mouthfeel, zesty and nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is up there. Its smooth and tasty. I would keep my fridge stocked with this if it was more easily available.

crazeguy, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of oscarsbrewmaster
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow.

This is one of the most unique tasting beers I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Distinct Belgium flavor with an explosion of American hops. This beer goes down extremely smooth, with a very clean finish. I dont think waiting for 12/12/12 is an option, this beer is too good now!

oscarsbrewmaster, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of kinnaird
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've probably already had about 8 bottles of this stuff since its release. I need to remember to hang on to one next time I'm shopping, but this stuff is just so damn good.

Brilliant clear, golden body with a rocky, stick gleaming head.

The aroma of this beer actually makes my mouth water. Citrus and pine from the hops. Apricot, pepper, banana, yeast, and spices from the Belgian body. Awesome.

Starts off with the fruits and spices from the aroma followed by a balanced hop bitterness. Medium body with a warming follow up.

I'm not going to consider abv in drinkability because this beer is so highly quaffable due to all the exceptional characteristics that are so thoughtfully stuffed into 22 ounces.

One of the best beers of 2008. Find and enjoy.

kinnaird, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy bubbly pale orange with a thin frothy head that diminishes to a ring but leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is west coast hops slightly overpowering the usual Belgian yeast musk. The taste is a very complex blend of Belgian flavors such as sweet fruits, coriander, orange peel dancing nicely with citrus hops, that overpower in the finish. The beer is on the light side of medium with some warming alcohol and decent carbonation. This is certainly a unique and enjoyable beer, one I'd gladly try again.

atsprings, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's X-mas Eve and I have a few hours with the house to myself before people swing by, so I figure it's a good time to snack, try a new beer, and finishing wrapping my gifts. I decide on Vertical Epic 08.08.08., purchased a few months back at my favorite beer store.

I started by pouring the beer into a St. Bernardus Chalice. It had little to no carbonation. I'm not sure if it has always been this way or if this is a result of aging. Crystal clear, golden and gorgeous. Looks like a white wine, with a tiny bit of patchy foam on the top.

The smell is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the malt and citrus notes of the hops have kind of blended together into something that is simultaneously simplistic and complex. It comes together to form something vaguely reminiscent of tangerines. Slightly citrusy and sharp, but sweet and inviting.

The taste matches the smell to a T. Very similar to a white wine. Sweet up front and acidic on the back leading to a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel is very winelike and surprisingly light. The lack of carbonation and light body really come together to form something wonderful. It is also incredibly easy to drink. I put back the first half of the 22 oz bottle in no time, then realized I had to step it back or I'd be a mess.

I've tried this with a variety of different cheeses and premade spice mixtures I have. It didn't like Stilton at all, but loved a Ras Al-Hanoot rub. I loved the pairing so much I grilled up a chicken breast right there rubbed with the spices, and tossed a small bit of the beer into the pan then served it with pita chips and pine nut hummus. It was delicious.

On the second pour (which finished the bottle), it picked up some of the yeast caked on the bottom which changed the experience entirely. The beer looks more like a Belgian Tripel or a Saison now, with a hazey, orangey color that you can't see through at all. The taste is VERY much like a Tripel, with sweetness upfront, but it is cut off abruptly by the bitter hops. Lots of hops in the nose, more so than the first pour. It also feels a bit thicker and heavier on the palate than before. It's still under-carbonated though, but in a good way, particularly with food (which is still a delicious pairing).

Overall an amazing beer. I've never had a Belgian IPA, but this reminds me a bit of Souther Tier's Unearthly IPA and, to a lesser experience, DFH's 90 minute IPA, with the sweetness and bitterness coming together brilliantly. Most interesting part about it, though, is how different the experience can be, even within the same bottle, depending on where you pour from (top or bottom). First pour was more winelike and more unique. The second pour was more traditional and less exciting, but stronger and more intense thorughout the sweetness and bitterness. Delicious either way.

PangaeaBeerFood, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I'm fairly new to true craft beers. Went with a buddy to BevMo on August 8, 2008 to find this little nugget waiting for me. Grabbed a few bombers...

It's now August 12, 2008. I've been patiently aging this puppy for 4 days and it's time.

Pours a pure gold. 24 karat baby. Frothy white head that hung out for a second, not too much lacing. First impression of appearance was good but not stellar.

Then I took a whiff. Smells like hops and dank ass green bud. And pine cones. Maybe a very slight fruity smell. Bananas? Maybe some cloves as well. Extremely pleasing! In my limited ultra-beer experiences, this is one of the best smelling beers I've had.

Then I took a sip. Tastes like hops and dank ass green bud. Truly tasty, me likey. That ever so slight bit of banana and clove may be present...or it may not. Trippin.

Extremely drinkable. I say that now, almost halfway through. Can't even tell that it's a monster 8.5%. I may be singing a different tune by the end. Next time I'll set out two of these because, hey, I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate a good buzz.

I think this beer is an awesome representation. Half the bomber and I'm feeling downright jolly! Call me an uncultured, ill-mannered lout, but this is one of the best beers I have ever had. Love it! And to think I have so many more treats waiting in my cupboard alone. CAN'T WAIT to hit all of the BA top 100.

OK, finished typing the above from my notes while continuing to enjoy this remarkable beast. Got about 3 or 4 ounces left and I feel like a champ. Opinion has only strengthened: this is good shit! And it still smells like dank ass green bud!

PatronWizard, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of FARGO619
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: almost a year ago.

I'm a hophead and got some good hop notes from this one. Very happy I had the chance to try this one. I'm giving this one a good 10.

A-Good head, golden in color

S-Citrus pine with good hop aroma.

T-Earthy,but for an IPA it was so damn good. Straw, earth, wheat, hop.

D-It all jumped out, and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle/ 22oz.

FARGO619, Jun 24, 2011
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.